Toe fracture rules Gowtham out

High-flying Karnataka were dealt a severe blow when in-form off-spinner K Gowtham was ruled out of the Ranji Trophy game against Uttar Pradesh in Hubballi from Dec 17-20 after being a diagnosed with a hairline fracture on his right foot toe.

"The doctors have advised me two weeks rest," a disappointed Gowtham told DH. "Just when I was bowling great such a thing has occurred. But these things happen and it's not in our control. Will have to fight it out. I'm looking forward to recovering quickly and joining the team."

With doctors advising two weeks rest, there's a strong possibility of Gowtham missing Karnataka's third Ranji Trophy game in Mysuru (Dec 25-28) against Himachal. An x-ray will be taken after 10 days which will determine his availability. 

Gowtham's absence is a big blow for Karnataka. The off-spinner helped Karnataka retain the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy with a brilliant final over against Tamil Nadu. The tall offie then dished out a sensational all-round performance as Karnataka defeated Tamil in a last-over thriller in their Ranji Trophy lung-opener in Dindugal. Gowtham scored a counter-attacking 51 in Karnataka's first innings and then proceeded to bag 6/110 and 8/60 to single-handedly destroy Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, seasoned pacer Abhimanyu Mithun returned to the squad after successfully recovering from a back spasm. Rohan Kadam replaces Mayank Agarwal, out on India duties, while all-rounder Pravin Dubey has been picked in place of Pavan Deshpande. 

Squad: Karun Nair (captain), Rohan Kadam, Devdutt Padikkal, D Nischal, R Samarth, Abhishek Reddy, Pravin Dubey, Shreyas Gopal (vice-captain), J Suchith, BR Sharath (wk), Sharath Srinivas (wk), Ronit More, David Mathias, V Koushik, Abhimanyu Mithun.

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